FAMU alum feels the beat and makes it work



Devante Jefferson is a music producer, radio personality and entrepreneur. You may know him better as “Backpack Beatz.”

The 26-year- old FAMU alum is originally from Milton. Backpack learned to play the piano and the drums so his transition into producing was an easy one. He quickly started producing his own content after becoming tired of finding instrumentals to record over.

 Once Backpack started producing original content he was able to sell his beats and collaborate with local acts.

 Backpack took a try at radio and was a host on FAMU’s 90.5 FM.

During his tenure at FAMU Backpack learned that it’s important to network and build genuine connections with people as your peers could also help you with your journey in the professional world.

While at 90.5 he was one of the only hosts to play Tallahassee artists. He said that being on 90.5 was just the start and it was the foundation.

Some of his entrepreneurship skills include branding. “I had to figure out how to brand myself. Everything falls into place after that,” he said. “I do radio, produce, and DJ. I'd put my logo on hats, shirts, and stickers, anything you could brand. Actually talking to people and building was another important thing as well.”

Branding is the most important part as it is the way people will be able to identify you. Brands are meant to be unique, so the consumer knows what they are buying.

Spring Wynn said Backpack has a unique sound. She met Backpack through an organization on FSU’s campus called CYPHER. Backpack was one of several producers who frequented the event. Wynn said one of the things that separated Backpack from the rest of producers is that Backpack “is one of the best samplers I’ve heard in a while.

“He can take a sample and turn it into something completely different than it was before it’s a hell of a gift,” she said.

For those who are aspiring radio personalities it is important to know your identity. When asked about advice for those who want to be radio personalities, he said “I learned this from Power 106's Angie Martinez. The most important thing you can do is find your voice. If you're trying to be like the next man, it's not going to work in your favor.”

Those who know Backpack say he has always had a passion for music and setting himself apart from everyone else. Joshua Brown, a 24-year-old music artist who goes by the name of “Joshua,” is a frequent collaborator with BackBack Beatz. He says that he had a chance to see Backpack when he was working at 90.5. “He supplied a different vibe, in comparison to other hosts and shows.”

Backpack has a keen ear, Brown added, and is versatile when it comes to producing. He also mentioned that Backpack’s style separates him from the pack.

“I think it’s his style. He’s a New York guy who isn’t from New York but he gives you that up north feel,” Brown said. “It’s refreshing being in the deep South. His nostalgic approach to producing no one in town comes close to providing that sound.”

Backpack Beatz currently hosts local shows and is a writer on the lifestyle website “TheRapFest.com where he also hosts a weekly radio show, Rap Fest Radio.

For more news and info you can check out his website holasoybackpack.bandcamp.com. And follow him on twitter @ Back_Pack_Beatz.